Some of the more notable pitchers in Wednesday’s action are just a little over the 80% roster threshold that would allow me to feature them in this space. But I would still like to answer them in case you are playing on another site where they are more widely available or if you are wondering whether to keep them.
I’ll start with Framber Valdez, who, on his second start after a finger injury that at one point felt like a late-season, put on a performance that was strongly reminiscent of his 2020 – a season that raised as many questions as he did. answered. The seven-innings jump was appropriate given that it tied Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks for most starts of seven or more innings last year, and doing so against a loaded Red Sox roster only makes validate it further.
The 18 swings were actually a career high – he didn’t get as many last year despite 9.7 K / 9 – and his ground ball rate over two starts is 78%, which is the true source of its strength. It’s the kind of performance that makes you think it was worth the wait and gives you confidence that his performance in 2020 was totally up to par.
- We chat about Framber Valdez, Alek Manoah and play “Do you prefer” Francisco Lindor or Marcus Semien and Walker Buehler or Zack Wheeler on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 podcast. You can follow us for the latest episodes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Meanwhile, his opponent in Wednesday’s game, Nick Pivetta, put in a strong performance, also against a solid offense. The irony is that his most convincing start so far has also been his first loss of the season, and I suspect his 6-1 record is the reason he’s already so widely listed. However, he became a dud after being very lucky with the batted balls early. Tuesday’s outing was his second in a row with nine strikeouts, giving him 50 strikeouts in 39 innings in his last seven starts. His strike rate during that streak is 11.8%, compared to 9.7% in his first four starts.
The last pitcher I want to mention here is Dinelson Lamet, whose four innings and 72 shots were both season highs. Speed is still around 1.5mph lower than it was last year, at least on the fastball, but it’s gradually increasing.
“As the days go by, I start to feel more and more comfortable”, Lamet said. “This goes for the physical side of things and the mental side of things.”
I’m starting to believe he could actually last all year despite his elbow worries. It’s been a long wait for him to develop something useful, but if you’ve made it this far, you might as well hang in there.
Now for some players who have a better chance of being available in your league …
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Possible waiver wire pickups